I’ve seen thousands of brand and products pitched. Some products that I thought were a sure home run turned out to be complete losers while others I thought were bombs turned out to be huge successes. So what makes the cut?
1. Have a professional pitch your product or idea. There’s a reason why the term “Pitchmen” exists. You don’t need to hire one of the most well known such as Billy Mays or Anthony Sullivan, but YOU pitching your product on camera or at a convention is not going to cut it. Stick to focusing on how to get your product in distribution channels, optimized for e-commerce, and perfected for consumer interface.
2. Ask your self some really key questions. Does your product meet a need? Does your product have mass appeal? Can it be manufactured inexpensively? Products that solve a problem tend to thrive in the direct response industry. Think about the Space Bag, which de-clutters your closet and greatly increases closet space or the Tool Band it, a magnetic arm band that puts your tools in easy reach.
If your product is only going to appeal to farmers who grow seaweed, then it’s not going to sell in the direct market space. You need to have a widely appealing product, such as Bumpits, a hair accessory that appeals to a large demographic of women.
Direct response products are often sold for under $100 or less around the golden “$19.95” sticker price and most direct response products have a cost to retail ratio of 1 to 5. You’ll need to do research and see which plants can produce your product at the highest quality but at the cheapest cost.
3. Test! Pitch it in front of the masses to get a feel for the products acceptance. I can’t stress this more. You may thing you have the perfect product that every women on the planet will surely buy, or the contraption no man could live without, but until you start interacting with consumers, then you won’t completely grasp the appeal your product has and to whom. Consider focus groups or simply survey lots of friends and family members, if they will be candid. If you can, set up a booth at a fair or convention and you’ll be sure to get unsolicited opinions of all sorts. Take them in stride and make adjustments. Remember-every food product, car, and movie you see has undergone several focus group and survey tests.
4. Have a funding plan. I’ve seen many products that tested well but never made its way to the masses because of lack of funding.
We’ve got tons of successful “garage companies” in America, companies like Google that started out of someone’s garage. However, most of these garage companies had some form of a business plan and some minimal funding. Don’t create the product, find out it has lots of appeal and interest, and then have no way to get the prototype produced.
5. Retail partners are a must! Most of all direct response products use television to drive sales to retail. While you will make a little money from the TV advertising, 90% of your revenue will be made from retail.
Johnny founded Livemercial in 2003. The company has delivered more than $1 billion in online sales, and created “Brain to the Bank” success stories for more than 3,000 distinct brands for our clients. In doing so, Livemercial has forever changed how single product, direct-to-consumer goods are sold online.